Markéta Polendová on the register of beneficial owners

An amendment to the law on the register of beneficial owners has been in force since the beginning of October. What impact will the changes it brings have in practice? In an article for EPRAVO.CZ, Bříza & Trubač associate Markéta Polendová discusses them.

The amendment introduces two key innovations, which are the new wording of the definition of beneficial owner and the "narrowing" of the previously established exemptions from the registration obligation.

In the first case, the change is merely technical. Registrants no longer need to distinguish the reason for registration between "ultimate influence person" and "ultimate beneficiary", but the only reason for registration is that the natural person "ultimately owns or controls a legal person or legal arrangement". Of greater note, however, is the related change in the definition of the class of enrolees. For example, the mere ownership of a share in a company exceeding 25% of the share capital is now decisive for registration.

As regards the exclusions from the obligation to register, the amendment has narrowed the previously broadly defined exceptions. Thus, political parties and movements, churches and religious organisations, trade unions and homeowners associations, among others, are now obliged to register their beneficial owners. For most of them, however, the beneficial owner will be automatically entered into the register.

You can read the full article here.